CHEVY CHASE, MARYLAND — You have likely not heard of them, but Creative Associates International (CAI) is one of the largest and most powerful non-governmental organizations operating anywhere in the world. A pillar of soft U.S. power, the group has been an architect in privatizing the Iraqi education system, designed messenger apps meant to overthrow the government of Cuba, served as a front group for the infamous Blackwater mercenary force (now rebranded as Academi), and liaised with Contra death squads in Nicaragua. As such, it has functioned as “both as an instrument of foreign policy and as a manifestation of a broader imperial project,” in the words of Professor Kenneth Saltman of the University of Illinois, Chicago.Creative Associates International (CAI): It’s Not Exactly the CIA, But Close Enough
After the U.S.-Russian summit in June, there was no apparent irony in President Biden’s response to a question about electoral interference. “Let’s get this straight,” he said. “How would it be if the United States were viewed by the rest of the world as interfering with the elections directly of other countries, and everybody knew it?” But of course much of the world does take this view; by one count the United States has intervened in no fewer than 81 elections between 1946 and 2000, many of them in Latin America. Biden’s question reveals a fundamental gap in U.S. foreign policymaking: Why do its leaders appear unable to judge how U.S. actions are seen by ordinary people in the countries they affect?Why Isn’t U.S. Policy Toward Nicaragua Working?
BOGATA — For exactly one month now, a nationwide strike has crippled Colombia and has been met with deadly repression by the far-right government of Ivan Duque. As trade unions have shut down major cities, halting mass transit and bringing economic gridlock to the country, government forces have responded with violence. According to government figures, at least 44 people have been killed in protests that began on April 28. A further 500 people have been “disappeared,” more than 100 shot with live fire, and at least 28 have been wounded in the eye by police, the notorious ESMAD riot squad, or by paramilitary organizations linked to the state.Birds of a Fascist Feather: Why Israel Is Aiding Colombia’s Crackdown on Protesters
Beijing has accused the U.S. of perpetuating a Cold War mentality as President Joe Biden and senior administration officials shore up alliances in the Pacific region to counter China’s growing influence and increasingly describe the country as a geopolitical threat. Vijay Prashad, director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, says the “bellicose” tone out of Washington is not because the U.S. sees China as a military threat, but because China threatens U.S. dominance in the scientific, technological and diplomatic spheres. “It’s very chilling what the U.S. government is doing in ramping up this cold war,” says Prashad.Vijay Prashad Warns Biden Is “Doubling Down” on Trump’s Anti-China Cold War Policy